What’s it all about?
Have you even wondered whether it’s your DNA that predetermines who you are, or are you this person because of your life experiences? Spoiler: It’s both!
Our DNA has the ability to carry messages from our environment and can shape our lives in surprising ways. These environmental messages may also be passed on to our children, and our children’s children! Learning a little bit about how this works will help your understanding of how your brain can be shaped by your environment.
What will we cover?
Expect a crash course in the fascinating field of epigenetics (and maybe even learn a little about your own genes). We will also give you a little taste of neuroscience and guide you through some of our latest research looking at the stress we experience and how this can impact our children.
Who will be teaching?
Dr. Annabel Short is a postdoctoral researcher at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. She is investigating the effects of lifestyle on DNA and how this affects our behaviour and the behaviour of our children. She has a particular focus on anxiety and depression disorders and hopes that her research may lead to a better understanding of what causes mental health issues, with an aim to improve treatment outcomes.
Katie Fennell is a graduate researcher at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and has worked closely with Dr. Short. Her research is focused on determining the neurobiological processes behind how our genes and our children’s genes can be affected by our ancestor’s experiences.